Presidents and World Leaders
Rare Books by Presidents & World Leaders for Sale Online
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“To President Kennedy per your request – here are our hands, our hearts, our votes": Inscribed by Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Harry S. Truman to President John F. Kennedy
Photograph of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson in a three-way handshake, taken on January 20, 1962 at the Grand Staircase, Entrance Hall at the White House. Inscribed by both Johnson and Truman to Kennedy, “To President Kennedy per your request – here are our hands, our hearts, our votes – Lyndon B. Johnson.” Inscribed by Truman “From Harry Truman to a great president, John F. Kennedy, February 19, 1962.” A rare photograph capturing three significant figureheads of the Democratic Party. In fine condition. Photograph by Robert L. Knudsen. From the collection of President Kennedy, later owned by his friend and special assistant, David Powers. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18.5 inches by 24 inches. An exceptional piece of history, inscribed by two Presidents to another President.
FIRST EDITION OF PROFILES IN COURAGE; INSCRIBED BY JOHN F. KENNEDY TO THE SENIOR SENATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS LEVERETT SALTONSTALL
New York : Harper & Brothers 1956
First edition of Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Octavo, original half cloth, with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Association copy, inscribed by the author to Massachusetts Senator Leverett Saltonstall, “To Senator Saltonstall- with the very highest regards of his colleague John Kennedy.” Leverett Saltonstall was the senior senator of Massachusetts while, John Kennedy was the junior senator. An excellent copy in a bright near fine dust jacket. Saltonstall served as Republican Whip from 1949-1957 and as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1953-1955. Saltonstall attended the wedding of John Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, and the two served together in the Senate from 1953 to 1960. Saltanstall and Kennedy worked together closely over the course of several years, as evidenced of one of their constituents thought the two had an even closer relationship, mistakenly assuming Saltonstall to be Kennedy’s uncle. “If you are ready to admit it,” Kennedy kidded in a 1963 letter, “I am.” Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An excellent association linking these two statesmen.
Wood engraving of a bust-length portrait of one of the most famous graphic images of Gandhi by illustrator Fritz Eichenberg; signed by Ghandi, “God is Truth MK Ghandi.” Below Gandhi’s inscription reads, “To Eva Aug. 16th, 1948 with love from Fritz” and additionally signed “Fritz Eichenberg.” The engraving is a proof impression on Japanese paper. The portrait by Eichenberg was originally created for The Catholic Worker, a newspaper in the cause of social justice, and was subsequently used in multiple other publications. “The word satya (Truth) is derived from Sat which means ‘being’. Nothing is or exists in reality except Truth. That is why Sat or Truth is perhaps the most important name of God […] In such selfless search for Truth nobody can lose his bearings for long. Directly he takes to the wrong path he stumbles, and is thus redirected to the right path. Therefore the pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God” (Ghandi, January 1st, 1927). The engraving measures 12 inches by 9 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 22 inches by 20 inches. Signed examples are exceptionally rare and desirable with the core tenet of Gandhi’s religious philosophy.
New York : Wilfred Funk, Inc 1940
First edition of John F. Kennedy’s first book. Octavo, bound in full blue leather, all edges gilt. The dedication copy of John F. Kennedy’s first book, Why England Slept, with Rose Kennedy’s embossed name on the front panel. This copy was specially bound for the author’s mother, Rose Kennedy and presented to her. This copy brought $52,900 at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sale at Sotheby’s in May 1996. Housed in a full dark blue morocco clamshell box. Unique.
Scarce First and only printed pamphlet of the Emancipation Proclamation; published only weeks before the issuance of Lincoln's executive order abolishing slavery in America
The Proclamation Of Emancipation, By The President Of The United States, To Take Effect January 1st, 1863.
Boston : John Murray Forbes 1862
First and only printed pamphlet of the Emancipation Proclamation, produced for distribution to Union soldiers and African Americans (both enslaved and free) in December of 1862; the month preceding the issuance of the executive order. 16mo, original salmon wrappers as issued. The pamphlet’s publisher, Boston industrialist and abolitionist John Murray Forbes, emphasized the necessity of the Civil War in the effort to end slavery with a quote printed on the rear panel of the pamphlet from a speech attributed to “Alex M. Stephens, Vice President of the so-called Confederate States, delivered March 21, 1861: This stone (slavery), which was rejected by the first builders, is become the chief stone of the corner in our new edifice.” In 1899, Forbes’ daughter recounted the genesis of this pocket edition: “With the view of placing the Proclamation of Emancipation in the hands of the negroes themselves, one and half inches square, put into packages of fifty each, and distributed among the Northern soldiers at the front, who scattered them about among the blacks, while on the march” (Sara Forbes Hughes, 348-49). In very good condition with a small tear to the front panel. An exceptional example of this scarce and significant piece of Americana.
Exceptionally rare autograph album signed by President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet including Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward
Exceptionally rare finely bound autograph album signed by the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln as well as his cabinet and 225 senators, representatives, and delegates of the 37th Congress, 1861-1863. Octavo, bound in full morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, gilt ruled, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, with the name “Lizzie F. Harlow” gilt on the front panel. Singed by Abraham Lincoln on the first page of the album, “Yours truly, Abraham Lincoln.” Additionally signed by William H. Seward, Edwin M. Stanton, Gideon Welles, M. Blair, Edward Bates, J. P. Usher and S. P. Chase. Collected between the years of 1862 and 1863 by James McCain, a young patent officer at the United States Patent Office. McCain presented the custom-bound album to his sweetheart, Lizzie F. Harlow, who, despite not marrying the young clerk, passed it down to her heirs. In near fine condition. An exceptional rarity with noted provenance.
“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on": First Edition of Why England Slept; Inscribed by Kennedy to His Father's Secretary and Who Transcribed this Work
New York : Wilfred Funk, Inc 1940
First edition of John F. Kennedy’s first book. Octavo, original red cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Miss Brown with many thanks for her help in bringing out this book Best wishes Jack Kennedy.” The recipient Mona Brown was a personal assistant and secretary to Joseph Kennedy for seven years, a period of time which included his ambassadorship to the United Kingdom. She was part of the Kennedy household’s innermost circle and spent a considerable amount of time with the Kennedy children, especially young Jack and Kathleen. She transcribed Why England Slept for Jack, the basis for which was his Harvard thesis. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association.
"I have numerous readers among farmers and workers. They make India. Their poverty is India's curse and crime. Their prosperity alone can make India a country fit to live in:" First Series of Mohandas K. Gandhi's Young India; signed and dated by him
New York : B. W. Huebsch, Inc 1924
Second edition of the first series of the writings of Gandhi. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel. Signed and dated by Mahatma Gandhi on the front free endpaper, “M. K. Gandhi 7:9:28.” Gandhi founded and published the weekly periodical in English, Young India, from 1919 to 1931 to spread the philosophy and principles of the Satyagraha Movement and urge readers to participate in it. With a brief sketch of the non-cooperation movement by Babu Rajendra Prasad. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Exceptionally rare signed and in this condition.
Exceptionally Rare Hand-written Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a graduate student at Boston University in 1952
Boston : 1952
Hand-written autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to his academic adviser at Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated September 1952 on an official Registrar Petition form addressed to the faculty reads: “I am desirous of taking twelve hours towards the PhD degree this semester in the Boston University Graduate School. My major field is Systematic theology. At present I have completed twenty-eight hours toward the degree, and passed the French examination. I plan to take the German examination in October, 1952. I would have taken the examination before now, but I wanted to make sure that I had an adequate background in German before taking it. For the past two years I have been a close student of German. In the light of this I am fairly certain that I can pass the examination in October. Martin L. King Jr. Graduate Student.” With faculty notes beneath signed by King’s academic adviser, “1952 L. Harold DeWolf. Approved. Granted for fall semester only.” King has also clearly printed his name on the verso, visible though an opening at in the back of the frame. Double matted and framed with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 15 inches. An exceptionally rare example providing a remarkable glimpse into the iconic leader’s education.
“I’VE JUST HAD THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE”: Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek
Exceptional letter signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek. One page, on Thatcher’s official 10 Downing Street letterhead and dated May 22nd 1984, the letter reads, “Dear Professor Hayek,” I have it in mind on the occasion of the forthcoming list of Birthday Honours to submit your name to The Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. I should be glad to know if this would be agreeable to you. I shall take no steps until I have your reply. “Yours sincerely, Margaret Thatcher.” Accompanied by a large original black and white photograph of Hayek taken at the honorary appointment at Buckingham Palace in which, he was in fact, awarded the Companion of Honour Medal by Queen Elizabeth II. In fine condition. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 24.5 inches by 19 inches. An exceptional piece of history.
Rare Society of the Cincinnati membership certificate signed by George Washington as president of the society of the Cincinnati
Philadelphia : May 5th, 1784
Rare autograph document signed by George Washington as President of the Society of the Cincinnati during the first general meeting of the Society and 5 years prior to his election and inauguration as the first President of the United States of America. One page partially printed on vellum with engraved vignettes by Auguste L. Belle after Jean-Jacques Andre LeVeau depicting America in knight’s armor trampling upon the British standard and the American eagle casting the British lion and Britannia out to sea with thunderbolts, engraved seal of the Order of the Cincinnati. The document reads: Be it known that Lieutenant William Andrews is a member of the society of the Cincinnati instituted by the Officers of the American Army at the Period of Dissolution, as well to commemorate the great Event which gave Independence to North American, as for the laudable Purpose of inculcating the Duty of laying down in Peace Arms assumed for public Defence, and of uniting in Acts of brotherly Affection and Bonds of perpetual Friendship the Members constituting the same. In Testimony whereof I, the President of the said Society have hereunto set my hand at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania this fifth day of may in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Four and in the Eighth Year of the Independence of the United States. By Order, ” “H.Knox” Secretary “G. Wahsington” President. William Andrews was commissioned a lieutenant on 1 January 1777 with the Third Continental Artillery. His regiment wintered at Valley Forge, andthe following June, Andrews was captured and held by the British in New York until he was exchanged in September 1781. In fine condition. Double matted and framed with an engraved portrait of Washington. The entire piece measures 36 inches by 23 inches. An exceptional example.
New York : 1795
Rare autographed letter signed by Alexander Hamilton regarding books missing from his law library. One page, the letter is addressed on the verso to Hamilton’s personal friend and fellow lawyer Richard Varick. The letter reads, “New York June 16 1795 I beg the favour of you to cause a search to be made in your office for books belonging to me, and if any are found to send them to me. Inclosed [sic] is a list of books which I miss – There may be others of which I have neither minute or recollection – but believe my name will be written in any that belong to me. I am sir your very obedt. servt A Hamilton.” Accompanied is a list of Hamilton’s missing books titled “Deficient books of Mr. Hamilton’s Law Library” which includes volumes by Strange, Burrows, Wilson, and Buller. The recipient, Richard Varick served as the second Attorney General of New York from 1784 to 1789 and the 45th Mayor of New York City from 1789 to 1801. As Mayor, Varick focused on the yellow fever epidemics which struck repeatedly and revised the statutes of New York with fellow lawyer Samuel Jones. Double matted and framed with an engraved portrait of Hamilton. The entire piece measures 24 inches by 13 inches.
Rare Original Photograph of General Ulysses S. Grant Taken By Mathew Brady; Boldly Signed By Grant As President
Rare original Mathew Brady photograph of Ulysses S. Grant. Boldly signed by Grant as the 18th President of the United States, “U.S. Grant March 18th 1875.” One of the earliest photographers in American history, Mathew B. Brady brought home the reality of the Civil War to the American public with his innovative use of a mobile studio and darkroom to capture thousands of war scenes throughout the Civil War. Brady was also recognized as one of the premier photographic portraitists of the 19th century, taking photographs of numerous celebrities including Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee among others. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 16.5 inches. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable with such a strong signature signed by Grant during his presidency.
"I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology": Exceptionally Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before beginning graduate studies at Boston University in 1951
Boston : 1951
Typescript autograph letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. requesting housing upon his acceptance to Boston University Graduate School. The letter, dated June 15th 1951 and addressed to Dean Charles W. Alter, Boston University Graduate School, reads, “Dear Dean Alter, I have been accepted in Boston University Graduate School as a regular student and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Systematic Theology. I am now interested in finding living accommodations on the campus, or at least very near by. A single room would be preferable. If such is possible I would appreciate having it reserved. I am also interested in applying for a graduate Fellowship. Please send me the necessary information at this point along with an application blank. Thanks in advance for your cooperation, I am Sincerely yours, Martin L. King, Jr.” King later recalled his experience with housing bias in 1951 Boston in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1965, “I remember very well trying to find a place to live. I went into place after place where there were signs that rooms were for rent. They were for rent until they found out I was a Negro, and suddenly they had just been rented.” Double matted and framed, with a photograph of a young King. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 21.75 inches. This letter offers an extraordinary glimpse into the education of the great African-American Civil Rights leader, exemplifying his own experiences with the systemic racism in 1950s American society.
Photographic portrait of Albert Einstein, taken from Martin Vos’ famous image captured during Rabinadrath Tagore’s 1930 visit to Berlin. Boldly signed by Albert Einstein. Gelatin silver print, a portrait detail from the famed 1930 Martin Vos photograph, taken when Tagore visited Einstein at his home in Berlin on July 14th, 1930. In fine condition. Double matted and framed; the entire piece measures 19 inches by 22 inches. An iconic photograph of Einstein, rare and desirable signed.